Category: ww1 history

Italians and Germans Conduct Long-Range Aerial…

An Ansaldo SVA, of the type that made the flight over Lake Constance.

May 21 1918, Brescia–Battlefield aerial reconnaissance was one of the primary roles of both sides’ air forces during the war–detecting enemy troop movements, mapping their defenses, and artillery spotting, among other tasks.  As airplane ranges increased, reconnaissance could be taken deeper into enemy territory–to get a sense of their economic activity, or to scout targets for future strategic bombing attacks.  On May 21, two Italian planes flew north over the Alps to the area around Lake Constance, taking pictures of multiple targets in the area, including the Germans’ Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen, returning safely to Italy after a 440-mile flight.  On the same day, a German airplane flew over London on a similar mission in a 375-mile round trip.  Although London was bristling with air defenses at this point, most attacks were now at night, and their small craft went undetected at a mile’s altitude over the city.

Today in 1917: Imperial War Graves Commission Is Chartered

Today in 1916: Daylight Saving Time Introduced in Britain & Ireland
Today in 1915:  Churchill Resigns as First Lord of the Admiralty

Sources include: Randal Gray, Chronicle of the First World War.

The pilot and observer of a British R.E.8 recc…

The pilot and observer of a British R.E.8 recce plane look over a map with their CO before takeoff.

5 subs H4, H5, H6, H7, H8, H9 built by British…

5 subs H4H5H6, H7H8, H9 built by British Pacific Construction and Engineering Company in Van, Canada. Ordered by Imperial Russia but after the Soviets took over they were sent to US May 20 1918. Were reassembled at Puget Sound Navy Yard & commissioned by US Navy

American Red Cross Parade, Birmingham, Alabama…

American Red Cross Parade, Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham View Company May 21 1918 https://t.co/QArXeRz1V7 https://t.co/pHWxejQf87 http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/998535275012763648

May 21, 1918 – American Yacht Fights Off U-Boa…

May 21, 1918 – American Yacht Fights Off U-Boat

Pictured – USS Christabel, who proudly bears a white star on her smokestack as credit for one submarine defeated.

A little ship became an unlikely hero on May 21 1918 when the armed yacht USS Christabel drove off a German submarine attacking an Allied convoy. The former civilian yacht served as the rear guard for a slow British steamer convoy sailing through Quiberon Bay, in the heart of U-boat hunting territory when Lieutenant Commander M.B. McCord spotted an oil slick in the water, a sign that a German sub was prowling around.

McCord’s fast ship sailed over and dropped depth charges, which exploded but seemed to hit nothing. Two hours later, a lookout spotted a periscope rising from the water. This time McCord’s depth charges struck home when a “very violent” explosion rose up through the water. The German submarine was mortally wounded but managed to reach Spain, where the crew were interned. One American sailor named Daniel Sullivan earned the Medal of Honor for jumping on a depth charge which accidentally fell on deck and securing it before it could detonate.

May 21 1918 “A ditched Sopwith Camel air…

May 21 1918 “A ditched Sopwith Camel aircraft recovered aboard the destroyer HMS VEGA during anti-Zeppelin operations” https://t.co/g6AgwEDJH7 http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/998341884190732288

May 21 1918 “Two 13 pounder (9 cwt) anti…

May 21 1918 “Two 13 pounder (9 cwt) anti-aircraft guns on Mark IV motor lorry mountings in action at Villers-au-Bois” https://t.co/uN8TX52UCV https://t.co/b8zPqal4ci http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/998341493801693184

May 21 1918 “A Gotha GV crashed on the E…

May 21 1918 “A Gotha GV crashed on the East Coast after being forced down by anti-aircraft fire at Little Wigborough, Essex. Her captain and crew were captured after they tried to set her ablaze with parachute flares.” https://t.co/wvjFhpl1Is https://t.co/tUtbfFPBWr http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/998341311089410049

May 21 1918 “American Nieuport single-se…

May 21 1918 “American Nieuport single-seater fighters lined up at aviation field No. 4 at the 3rd Aerial Instruction Centre at the Issoudun aerodrome” https://t.co/9xe97n9woL https://t.co/YOdIbm66ex http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/998341106642243585

Nursing Sister Gladys Maude Mary Wake, Canadia…

Nursing Sister Gladys Maude Mary Wake, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Canadian Army Medical Corps, dies of severe burns two days after the German airships bombed the 1st Canadian General Hospital at Etaples May 19 1918. Funeral picture – PA-002562

https://t.co/DGCovBmnvG https://t.co/eRMdzYiJGF http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/998337787798605824